There are two major subsets to the metals category: precious and industrial. Although gold certainly is used in the jewelry industry and electronics and other industries, it is considered precious due to its traditional role as a medium of exchange (in other words, money). Silver is considered both precious and industrial. Metals such as copper (sometimes called the poor man's gold) are certainly considered to be in the industrial class.
Unique and precious, gold is its own asset class. Prices are quoted alongside securities in the major financial media. Gold is still a hedge against asset erosion in times of inflation and political unrest, and it is becoming increasing popular as an investment vehicle in China (as ...